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A Changed Voice from the American Revolution

Hello, my name is Elias Smith; I’m a 14-year-old young man from 17th century America. Born into a family of British colonists, we migrated to a new country to begin a new life. Currently in Boston, there is a revolution occurring around me. As a young man living through a revolution, my life is pretty great so far. King George the third is such a great leader; he is going to bring this country greatness. In the beginning of this year, I have begun to write journal entries about my life in America, to hopefully inform future readers about my lifestyle. How great life in America will be!

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As always, all revolutions bring change. In the American Revolution, lots of things changed, but some also remain constant. There was a new government system, peace, and independence from the British crown. America started including presidents into their governing ways. The new government kept the continental congress; but because they no longer had one supreme ruler, they made a presidential organization. In the peace treaty between USA, France, and Britain, America received the east of the Mississippi River, south of Canada, and north of Florida from France. Finally, one of the most obvious changes was freedom from under the British rule; nonetheless, just because they had independence and freedom, didn’t mean everyone was equal and received all the rights human deserve. There were still social classes, where rich, white, religious men were put at the top of the food chain, and black people and women were on the bottom. Another racial rule that was kept the same was rights. Black people still didn’t receive their equal share of rights. Also, women didn’t get rights to freedom of speech until later on; but even modern day women in America still don’t have their full rights. Though the American Revolution brought some good change, some things will always remain the same.

 

 

Looking In Elizabeth Bennet

 

Elizabeth Bennet’s Diary

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For the book Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, I wrote a short diary in the perspective of Elizabeth Bennet. In this diary, we see why we shouldn’t be trusting of our prejudice. With the development of the book, we begin to face a new side of Darcy, a much warmer side. Jane and Mr. Bingley were happy as ever. But what book is complete without at least a few barriers? A close family friend – Mr. Collins – enjoys a visit at the Bennet’s, in hopes of finding a partner for life. He soon catches interest in Elizabeth; however, Elizabeth has her eyes on Mr. Wickham, who accuses Darcy of mistreating him, which causes Elizabeth to dislike Darcy even more. To her mother’s dismay, Elizabeth declined Mr. Collins request. He doesn’t dwell for long and moves on to Elizabeth’s friend, Charlotte. Whilst all this is happening, Mr. Bingley brusquely leaves returns to London, leaving Jane heartbroken. Elizabeth realizes this must be the doing of Darcy and Mr. Bingley’s mother. Jane is left feeling unwanted by Mr. Bingley through letters and visits to Caroline – his mother. Shortly, she realizes Caroline never cared for her.

For a change of location, they visit Charlotte, Mr. Collins, and Lady Catherine de Bourgh in Kent and Rosings Park. Mr. Darcy soon joins the party and confesses his undying and astonishing love for Elizabeth. He gets down on one knee, and asks for her love and hand in marriage. She had rebuked him for his previous actions – intercepting the lovebirds, treating Mr. Wickham unfairly, and acting arrogant towards her – leaving him in shock. He defends his actions in a letter explaining Mr. Wickham’s forfeited inheritance and how Mr. Wickham had tried to elope with his little sister so he could take her fortune. Defending himself against the accusation of Jane and Bingley, he simply states her families want of property and how Jane was not in love with Mr. Bingley. This time he leaves Elizabeth in shock.

After we discover all this information about Lizzy’s life, we can see how developed her character is in Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth realizes that though she is intelligent, some things aren’t determined by intelligence but by experience. We also experience change in Mr. Darcy’s character. He is able to let Elizabeth know about the things she misjudged him by. Through a letter he sends, we learn so much about everyone in the book, and their character.

Playlisting Through Tough Times in Tough Terranes

Listen to my playlist on Spotify, there are a few bonus tracks!

Trust, a simple five-letter word, yet so diverse. To different people, trust could be a meager part in their lives, or something immense. Desperately trying to reach her father, but was stymied by the NKVD. Ever since being captured by Stalin and his army of puppets, Lina’s life transformed forever. From living lavishly with her parents, to living in the frigid Siberian farms, all the Lithuanian’s weren’t expecting the hard labor they were put in. This playlist was inspired by the book Between Shades of Grey, by Ruta Sepetys, and also the lyrics in the different songs.

“Broken Home”- 5 Seconds of Summer

“She would hope, she would pray, she was waiting it out”

This song really spoke out about how the Lithuanian’s were praying for an answer – a measly answer to help them out of their sticky situation. Being caught in a Siberian winter was harsh, working the field’s everyday with frostbitten hands were worse. They were all waiting out the never-ending storm, finally capitulating and working for their 300 grams of bread. Life wasn’t ever so tough, but all they could do was pray and hope for a better tomorrow.

“Ghost” – Ella Henderson

I keep, going to the river to pray, cause I need, something that can wash out the pain”

As the song goes, they all had their surrounding helpers, supporters, helping them out, acting as each other’s rivers. For example, when Jonas was slowly dying from scurvy – lack of nutrients from only receiving murky water, and bread everyday – Andrius stole a can of tomatoes from the NKVD, risking not only his life, but his families, to feed Jonas in his time of need: “ ‘Andrius brought a can of tomatoes. He fed them to Jonas,’ [Lina] said” (Sepetys 195). Proving that when one is in trouble, they know they can count on each other.

“Colors” – Halsey

“You’re dripping like a saturated sunrise

You’re spilling like an overflowing sink

You’re ripped at every edge but you’re a masterpiece”

Listening to these lyrics brought my attention to Lina and Andrius. In the book the two have feelings for each other, they grow closer and closer throughout the book. In order to save Andrius, his mother has to sleep with the NKVD commanders, the only pro being they live off of wholesome food, clean water, in a hygienic, warm cabin. Lina jumping to conclusions about why Andrius lived lavishly accused him of spying, and betraying his roots; although, Andrius is fuming at the thought, he still stays with her. Though they are both messes, “dripping like a saturated sunrise… spilling like an overflowing sink… ripped at every edge but [they’re] a masterpiece” (Halsey).

Lean On” – Major Lazer (Feat. MØ and DJ Snake)

“Fire a gun, we all need someone to lean on.”

Like the song said, they all needed someone to lean on. Whether it was each other, their hope, or just a letter from a loved one. Something that signified that their relatives were still alive, and breathing. Whenever one of them had received a letter, they would all huddle up together, and thank the heavens for this letter whilst living in hell.

“Keep Holding On” – Avril Lavigne

Keep, holding on, ‘cause you know we’ll make it through, make it through

Just stay strong, ‘cause you know I’m here for you, I’m here for you”

This is a very powerful song that can relate to multiple scenes of this book. When Jonas was sick, or when Lina, her mother, and two other Lithuanian women whilst digging holes, were compelled into them, and buried alive: “We lay next to each other. Mother grasped my hand… ‘I love you, Lina,’ whispered Mother” (Sepetys 150). Lina’s mother, and Lina had a powerful scene together when this was happening, the support for each other stayed strong. When the NVKD were done, they squeezed each other’s hand for comfort. Afterwards Lina’s mother rushing to get her unburied from the dirt, it was a touching moment.

Throughout the world, there are many amazing songs that we can incorporate. These songs really spoke out to me when reading, and I hope they will for you too. We can learn from this book that having someone to trust in times of hardship will be very rewarding. No matter how difficult the situation, you can always make it better, when you know you have someone to lean on.